Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Almost finished!

I just can't believe it, I am in my penultimate week of uni. I have just 6 lectures left and then it is all over. I am working like a mad woman at my final meditation essay. (1200 good words - 2000 needed).

I have a good draft of my short story written, to hand in for editing tomorrow and today my wonderful meditation lecturer sent me my 'take-home' exam a week early. I explained that I was going away to Alice Springs next weekend and requested an extension. He suggested that he send it to me early, so that I can get it out the way and enjoy my holiday. I have completed 3 of the 5 questions (200 words each) and tomorrow just need to work on the other 2 questions.
I must admit to feeling a little pressured, but by this time next week it will almost be over.
I will still have one more take-home exam to complete, but both it and my short story are only due on June 15th, so will have some breathing space.

I have loved this whole experience and am now considering what courses to do next semester. Definitely, another Religions course, but am also now considering a History course, rather than another writing or English one. First focus however, is to get through this one.

So wish me luck and hang in there for the next post, it could be a few days.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Nature at her best!

After nature giving us a hammering with the weather after the last couple of days, we got to see her at her best this morning.
A male and female King Parrot called at our seed feeders. These very shy and beautiful birds are very hard to photograph as they scare really easily. So I sneaked outside and managed a couple of photos, before leaving them to feed in peace.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Time to stop now!

334mm in just 3 days!
Monday night we had 32mm
Tuesday night we had 70mm
Wednesday morning 8am until 6am Thursday morning we had 232mm.
It has been a lot of rain, but luckily this time no strong, damaging winds.
Our rain guage did not get emptied enough, and this photo tells the whole story.
This is our dry season as well, the weather man is sure annoyed with the world!

Old Flood, new flood

This year's flood and last year's flood!
They had to replace the old swings with new ones, but they are in the same position as they were.
I guess we had a lot more rain this time around.

Oh what a night!

Mom and Dad to the rescue!
Even until last night, Mom and Dad were still helping me around the house. I was banned from getting wet, so I didn't get sicker than I am.
Luckily the rain eased overnight and finally stopped. Very cloudy skies this morning, but no more rain. Possible showers for today.

We have a tiny, baby Native Minah bird that is very tame and it found a little spot on the verandah to huddle. A little while later, I heard a tapping and it was banging against the glass door. I hope it survived the night.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Flooding again

This morning when I left home with Elizabeth, I said to her: "I should have brought my camera with me today, look at the creeks."
Overnight and yesterday we had over 100mm, then from 7am today until when I finally got home at 4pm, after an adventurous day; we had, had another 145mm.
Mom and Dad, took the children to school this morning and Elizabeth and I headed off to university. They decided to leave carving club at lunch time, as the rain had been really heavy and by the time they got home, our pool was overflowing (despite Dad and I emptying it this morning) and the front was flooding again. This time the water had made it up onto the tiles.
You can see the wet water mark.

Dad, then spent the next two hours swinging a pick and Mom digging a ditch, to relieve the water, as it had nowhere to go.

At 1pm, Mom got hold of me, and a few minutes later Matthew phoned from school to say that the school was being evacuated. It was flooded and they were having electrical problems. Mom, then tried to get out of our area, only to find that our only access road, was cut off by flood waters across the road. With some careful, driving she managed to cross and get safely to the children.
Elizabeth and I meantime started off home in the rain, we could not see any further than one car ahead of us and at times not even that. Mom had suggested we not even try, but I wanted to be home with my children. I drove really slowly, but a detour sent us about an extra hour out of our way. A normal 40 minute drive took us over 2 hours. I am so glad that I did leave when I did, as within 20 minutes of our leaving two major roads were flooded and we would have been stuck at the shopping centre for the night.
We arrived back at the creek, across the road and just made it through home. Elizabeth, Sarah and I then did some more clearing of water out front, but now are leaving it in the hands of God, as more rain is expected.
Ivan of course is AWAY! He is always away when we have major weather events. Nevermind, we are all safe and dry at home. Better off than many houses. In some areas 85 roads are closed, there have been mudslides and major flooding.
Tomorrow we are all staying home. We will work around the property to fix it up and hopefully stay warm and start drying out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Well Done Sarah!

Our Sarah performed in her very first Flute Eisteddfod today. She played a lovely piece called "The Bear went over the mountain." Her confidence and mature attitude is amazing to watch and the judges comments were excellent.
"A nice, rich tone. The tempo was kept strict and the tuning was good. Promising." 82%
I am so proud of our talented daughter. Well Done sweetheart, keep up the good work.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Oranges and Lemons

When we moved into our house just over 4 years ago, there was a straggly old orange tree in the garden, with the most lethal thorns. (It is a strange tree, a blend of orange and lemon) I wanted to cut it down, but Ivan was adamant about keeping it. He pruned it, fed it, watered it and slowly nursed it back to health.
Every year I have muttered!

This year we started to get a few oranges and finally yesterday, Ivan cut them all down. They are filled with pips, so we decided to juice them. What fun it was, to see the kids faces as we managed to get almost a litre of freshly squeezed juice. It is strong and so amazing. Not filled with sugar and preservatives, just fresh orange juice.
A glass this morning was delicious, although it was too strong for everyone except Elizabeth and I, the big orange juice drinkers.

From now on I will keep my mouth shut, and help with the watering and feeding and maybe next year, we can enjoy even more oranges.

My talented daughter!

Sarah's very first attempt at Pyrography!
Yesterday we went to see the new Star Trek movie, a huge thumbs up for it, so fantastic. Sarah however, is not a Star Trek fan, so she stayed home with Granny and Grandad.
She spent the morning chasing, catching and bottling butterflies, putting the butterfly into the bottle for the first time, which was an amazing achievement for our little girl who is terrified of insects.
Then Granny showed her how to do some pyrography! Now Sarah was not interested in learning the traditional way, she just wanted to free-hand draw an eagle and cat and have a go. The end result is this amazing picture. She is so artistic, musically as well as with her drawing, writing, poetry etc. We are so proud of her, and by the beautiful grin on her face, you can tell she felt pretty proud of herself.

Friday, May 15, 2009

How lucky am I?

Ivan normally travels for about 6 months of the year, but this year has curtailed his travelling. (yes the small thing called an economic crises!) He now however, desperately needs to go overseas and meet up with clients and on the off-chance that it would work, suggested that I try and go with him.

Well to cut a very long and very complicated story short, Elizabeth and I (yes, both of us) will be travelling overseas on June 24th, to New York, Washington, Stamford, Ireland and London. I have spent hours on the phone trying to organise frequent flyer tickets and to my surprise have managed to do it. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't use your points, just talk to the people!

We leave on June 24th, spend 2 days in New York, a day in Washington, a day in York, PA, a day in Stamford, CN and then fly to Ireland for the weekend and on to London for 3 full days. It is going to be amazing.

In my life it never rains but it pours. Here I am going to Alice Springs on the 5th June and then to the USA on the 24th.

I am so grateful for my life, for the priveleges that I have. I am grateful this time that Elizabeth can come with me. She loves travelling and is of an age that she will appreciate all the amazing tourist things that we will cram into the trip.

We have organised our new passport photos. The only thing I can say about them, is that after a 15 hour flight, I will probably resemble the photo. They are horrible, as you are no longer allowed to smile at all. What a shocker and to think that I have to keep that photo for the next 10 years. Oh well, age will probably cure the differences that I see now.

Just thought I would share my amazing good fortune. So look out for July Blog posts, they will be filled with lots of photos!

So proud of you Mom!

If you remember a couple of days back (maybe a week or so), I posted a photo about my Mom's lovely new hobby and her beautiful Kookaburra.

The woodwork club (where her and Dad belong) encouraged her to enter the novice section at our local Brookfield show, (an arts and crafts/country show). She was very nervous about it, but succumbed to pressure. I have just had her on the phone, almost hysterical with excitement. She won FIRST PRIZE! Not only that but also received a $50 cash prize.

Isn't that amazing! Mom, well done!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Planning a holiday

On June 4th, my first semester of university will be all over (except for an exam and one assignment), however, before I even tackle those I am going to be heading away for 4 days with my best friend.

We are going to the centre of Australia (well almost) to a town called Alice Springs. When I was a fairly young girl (around 12) I read Neville Shutte's book called 'A town like Alice.' Living as I was at the time, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would be heading to Alice Springs, but it was something that I really wanted to see. The book for those who have not read it, is not really about Alice Springs, but rather about the Japanese occupation of Malaya during the 2nd World War and the treatment of the 'white women' who they captured. It is a book about survival and the descriptions of Alice Springs, fired the imagination.

So Michelle and I are heading off together, just us two girls for a long weekend. We are planning a breakfast camel ride and probably a dinner one too, so that we can see the stars in the outback. We are also hoping to do a big day out exploring the mountains in the area. We will both have our cameras at the ready and lots of throat losenges, to ease the dry, sore throat after all the talking. It is going to be an adventure.

So today I am spending some time planning some of our activites and dreaming. Just think I will be in Alice in June - wow!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to Me!
We celebrated Mother's Day in Matthew's room this year, as he is really sick the flu (no not swine flu) just the yucky ordinary flu. He has been really sick, running temperatures of plus 38 degrees since Friday and yesterday (Sunday) over 39 degrees. We finally called in the doctor, who prescribed antibiotics. This morning he still has a plus 38 degree temp, but is finally managing to eat a little.
Now onto Mother's day. I received a beautiful bunch of flowers, some chocolates and a box-set of 5 Nora Roberts books. Thank you children! I then spent the rest of the day doing ordinary - Mother things like cleaning, cooking and ironing. What's New!

I did have the joy however, of taking this beautiful photo of my Sarah playing the piano. She is so talented and plays really well. I had a few tears in my eyes as I listened to her play. I kept thinking how much my Grandad (whose piano it was) would have loved her to bits.
Mom and I shared a hug and I bought her a new pretty tea mug, but we lost the Sunday with Matthew being so sick. We are lucky however, in that we can share Mother/Daughter time anyday that we want, living so close.

Happy Mother's Day to all Mother's around the world!

Friday, May 8, 2009

What a talent!

This is my Mom! I can tell you that I am so proud of her. She is not only the best Mom in the world, an amazing wife and grandmother, but also amazingly talented.

I remember in 2000, I started scrap booking and she said "No I can't do that I am not at all artistic." Her whole life she had believed that she was ordinary, untalented (except for being a great secretary) and generally not very clever. It has taken her many years to trust in herself and slowly she is discovering what we have always known. That she is amazing and talented.

A few months ago, Mom decided to try a little 'pyrography' (wood burning). She started with a few leaves, a mouse on a door hanger for Sarah, a few odds and ends and did really well. This week, she finally got the courage to try her first major project. Dad found her a beautiful piece of wood, which he cleaned up, sanded and edged for her and she did this amazing Kookaburra!

What a fantastic first project!

Mom, you are amazing, congratulations!

A post for yesterday!

An excuse for not posting (and I need a few of these excuses!)
I have not been feeling too well.
Wednesday night I felt so dizzy, that I would have thought that I had been drinking for hours. I was experiencing all the nausea and dizziness and could hardly stand up.
This is after a few days of shooting pains in my ear, despite the Dr telling me that they were clear on Saturday.
So yesterday Thursday, I had a day in bed.
Matthew (my beautiful son) made me some hot baked bread rolls, cheese (artfully displayed) around the plate and a glass of cool lime juice with ice.
I am a very lucky lady.
I am feeling a lot better today, although now Matthew has a temperature of 38.5 degrees and I am taking him to the Dr at 2.15pm. What a bunch of useless people we are?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Me and my Dog!

Abby and I sharing a cuddle on the patio.
I very seldom sit and cuddle Abby. Most of the time, she is just the nuisance that I have to let out at 6am every morning and the nuisance that I have to feed.
I do love her and enjoy having her around, but the burden of caring for her has over the four years worn thin. The secret is that I was the one who chose her, I fell in love with her brown eyes and beautiful face and I am pleased we have her.
Last night, while sitting with Ivan while he did our BBQ, she came over and put her head in my lap. I got out a towel for her and the instant I walked towards the couch, she knew she was in for a treat. She is lovely and warm, and I really enjoyed having her next to me.
So here is a picture of 'Me and my Dog!'

Friday, May 1, 2009

Poor neglected Blog!

Sincere apologies to all readers, I have been totally neglectful of my blog and also emails and cleaning and cooking and all those things not totally related to my university work.
I am obsessed! There I have said it, I find myself thinking and breathing, dreaming and waking my academic life. Not because it is difficult or stressful, but because it is fascinating and enjoyable and totally consuming.
Books I have borrowed!

The library at uni and I have become amazing acquaintances and I love all the knowledge that is there just at my fingertips. These are the books I have borrowed for my next couple of assignments. I 'probably' wont read all of them, but will browse through everyone.

I have found a thirst for knowledge, that I never knew I had, or if I did, it was long lost!

So no excuses for the neglect, just a reason.

My other news is that I received another great mark for another assignment. I got a '7' for my world religions Blog post. I have also completed my second assignment for this course a 1500 word piece. It is due on May 21st, so am ahead of the game.

Now just a 2000 word essay for my other Religion course, a 300 word story pitch, due next week and then my 2300 word short story.

Yes, I have a story. I am writing about my Dad's life in London as a young boy, during the Blitz. Lets hope I can pull it off and do it justice.

Thats all my uni news for now. Will try and get a more balanced life and post again daily.